But joyful are those who have the God of Israel as their helper, whose hope is in the Lord their God.
~ Psalm 146:5, NLT
This verse from the bible was in my inbox today. It really spoke to my heart. I know how much I rely on God and those he has put in my life to help me through all of the hurdles I have had to overcome in my life. I remember when my ex husband went to prison and how depressed I was. There were days I did not even get out of bed and Richard would crawl in with me as he watched his Blues Clues and I would sleep my life away because of the pain I felt inside. At that point in my life, my relationship with God was no where near what it is now. I had lost my faith in order to fit in my ex husbands lifestyle. With him now out of the picture, God called me from the darkest place I was in my life. At that time I had no idea how great his plans for me were and we were just really getting to know one another in a special way.
George's death by far was the most devastating thing to ever happen in my life. Yet this time around it has been very different. I have my days where I don't want to be a mom and lay in bed but I don't. Having God in my life has given me a strength that I never thought I possessed. During the time I was with my ex and the years before, I just sought out this love. I wanted to be loved yet didn't think I deserved it and surely not loved in the way that God loves me. In it all I settled for a man who was nothing that I ever would say I was going to be with yet somehow found myself lost and aimlessly floundering as I sought this love that I was not going to get from him. With all my heart I wanted it to work and i put in all efforts but one day God came and showed me the real love I was seeking and the strong person I really am and told me he had greater plans for me than I ever did for myself. I was so humbled and still am every single day as I feel him calling me to do his work,that is such an honor and as much as I don't want to have to do the hard stuff I know I am not alone and he is there with me.
I found out that I was not alone having to jump these hurdles, God is my helper. When the road seems long and impossible and I want to give up, he is right there holding my hand and carrying me when I can no longer take another step. Having the hope of eternal life is what also helps me to get through each day, knowing in my heart that someday I will be with my son again. I have always told people that there is no harm in believing but what if you are wrong and there is a God and Jesus was his son crucified for our sins and you are wrong? Being a believer is not harmful but not believing takes away any hope of eternal life and I personally don't want to be on that end of it all.
I also find the part that says those who choose God as their helper have joy. That is so true and I can personally tell you why. Among all the pain I carry in my heart, my heart still knows how to smile and appreciate life. Mixed in with the surging pain at times is still joy. It is the joy that I got to be George's mommy, knowing I will see him again someday, the joy for all the blessings in my life, thankfulness and joy for finding the love of my life, joy for the simple things like the laughter and smiles of my children. It is so hard to have mixed feelings like this but the joy is what keeps me going every single day. When I did not know God in the capacity I do now,there was no joy in my heart and I was so lost and depressed, there is now a distinct difference and I thank God every day that he called me to his folds and helped me to hear his calling.
Last night is the perfect example of this type of joy. All day I had such a tough day. I fought back tears most of the day and my heart just hurt so bad. I always talk about Gabrielle and the blessing she has been to us all. Last night was no different and I could feel God working through this little girl to bring joy to my life. She was sitting on the ground playing and I started to laugh...well she started to laugh. My mom and dad were there too and they joined in the laughter. The expression on her face and the laughter from her little soul just filled the air with so much joy. There were tears in my eyes but this time they were tears of joy. I was so grateful that amidst my pain there was such joy that filled the room, I knew that this little girl was God's gift of joy among the sorrow of loosing her big brother.
Somehow I am learning that these mixed feelings are ok to have and they are just Gods way of helping us through the pain. He knows this pain all too well because he too lost his son and had to watch him suffer here on Earth while he was in Heaven, just the opposite of what I live with each day. There is however a profound difference, I know my son wants for nothing and does not suffer in any capacity but God sent his son to suffer and endure the difficulties that life brings and that has got to be the hardest thing ever. I never understood how God could do this but also knowing that through my son's death that lives have been changed for the better, I understand why he made that sacrifice. In my heart I feel as if, if George's loss changes one life for the better than my suffering was worth it all in the end. I think that this is why on his birthday I felt compelled to come up with the idea of random acts of kindness. You never know who's life you will change by something as simple as a smile. I know my son's smile changed my life and that of so many other and it is truly a blessing.
Take the time to see how this bible verse touches you and applies to your life. If you do not know God yet in the capacity that you have a personal relationship, I urge you to seek it out and work on it. This does not come easy and as any other relationship in your life worth having, it takes lots of work and is constantly changing. The only difference is that God is always with you and will fill your life with this love that only He can give. Once you have found that, you will never want to give it up and somewhere in your heart it will always lie even in your dark moments where you are angry with him or feel unworthy of his love. He loves you unconditionally with no strings attached just like a parent loves a child and would give anything for them. If your own parents have failed you, know they are only human and that they cannot provide the type of love that God has for you. Building faith is a daily task but it is the one thing in life worth doing and working hard at because the rewards are greater than you can even begin to imagine.
God, thank you for calling me to your fold and loving me for who I am. Words cannot express my gratefulness for you grace and mercy in my life while you help me overcome the troubles of this life. Thank you for carrying me when I cannot walk through the darkest places this world takes us to. Please continue to be with me always and let me see the joy you bring in the midst of darkness and pain. Thank you for your sacrifice so that one day I can see my son again and find eternal love and life that only you can provide. Forgive me for all my sins, known and unknown and help me to seek a relationship with you every day and be a tool for you to use so others can see your love through all I do.
George's Guardian's of Grace Projects
Stocking project is now in full force collecting donations. We have a list of the items we can use. You can also choose to sponsor a stocking in memory or honor of someone else. We will include a paragraph or two in the cards we place in the stockings to let the recipient know about the person that means so much to you. Our paypal account is posted on this page and ready to take donations. Email us for a list of items needed or with any questions or information you would like included on a sponsored stocking/donation.
Video Tributes/Celebration of Life Footage
Here is a link to a video tribute that was made by Richard's dad in memory of George. Get out your tissues!
We Finally have footage from the service up and running:
It is in 4 sections running about 17 mins each. If you were unable to attend, you can now see what you missed. We were so blessed to have everyone there with us in person and in spirit!